Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 23, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 23, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Massachusetts' 38 Studios Chooses Providence, RI As New Headquarters
Massachusetts' 38 Studios Chooses Providence, RI As New Headquarters
September 23, 2010 | By Kris Graft

September 23, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Maynard, MA-based online game company 38 Studios has selected downtown Providence, RI as its new headquarters, the studio confirmed Thursday, lured away from current digs by a loan guarantee worth tens of millions of dollars.

38 Studios, a startup game studio led by former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling, is currently developing an MMO codenamed Copernicus (art pictured). The company has been working on a $75 million loan agreement with the state of Rhode Island as part of an economic development plan for the state.

Part of the agreement entailed that the studio choose a new location in Rhode Island before November 30 this year, and sign a 10-year enforceable lease to ensure the company stays in the state.

Jen MacLean, CEO of 38 Studios said that Providence is an appealing location as it has "some of the best students in the nation, a vibrant arts community, and a dynamic urban environment with easy access to public transportation."

But the main driver for the relocation is the loan guarantee that comes with the move. A recent report said that the company will receive $64 million of the loan guarantee if it attracts 250 full-time jobs to the state by the end of 2011.

As part of the agreement, the state plans for 38 Studios to create even more jobs through 2012. "38 Studios presents Rhode Island with a tremendous economic development opportunity," said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. "This investment creates 450 high-paying jobs, provides job opportunities for our college graduates in a fast growing industry, and will attract other interactive and entertainment companies to Rhode Island."

The new location is a six-story, 104,000-square-foot building located at One Empire Plaza in downtown Providence.

Daniel Baudouin, executive director with The Providence Foundation, said he expects the new game studio to provide a "significant economic boost to downtown, the city and the state." He believes 38 Studios is just the beginning of a greater digital media presence in the city.

"In addition to the high paying jobs and disposable income that 38 Studios will produce, their downtown location should result in the development of a strong, growing cluster of businesses in digital media and design, two potential targets of growth for downtown and the state," he added.

While Rhode Island's governor, economic development groups and 38 Studios are celebrating the deal, the amount of the loan agreement has raised eyebrows from some political candidates in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts in recent months.

Massachusetts independent candidate Tim Cahill said in July that the loan was "an extraordinary amount of money," adding, "I don't think as a matter of policy it's a good idea to give tax credits to individual companies betting on their success."

Former Republican U.S. senator and Rhode Island independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chaffee called the unsecured loan an "unacceptable gamble to ask the taxpayers of Rhode Island to take." The company has until November of 2020 to pay back the loan before forfeiting a final $7 million in payouts.

Aside from Copernicus, 38 Studios's wholly-owned subsidiary Big Huge Games is working on the multiplatform single-player RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, led by The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion designer Ken Rolston.

Related Jobs

Nexon America, Inc.
Nexon America, Inc. — El Segundo, California, United States

Localization Coordinator
Petroglyph Games
Petroglyph Games — Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas, United States

Assistant/Associate Prof of Game Studies — Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States

Lead UI Engineer


Lincoln Thurber
profile image
Crime pays. As anyone who lives in New England knows Rhode Island is full of ccorruption and intertwined with organzined crime. Enjoy that money 38 Studios because when RI current crime boss, Louis "Baby Shanks" Manocchio, comes calling you better have his cut.

Those folks at 38 just got rolled! Nothing in life is free guys, and that tax break will end with none of you folks having knee-caps.

Aaron Casillas
profile image
Imagine "you miss da milestone!" BRRRRRRFP, BRRRRFFP

Bart Stewart
profile image
I have to admit I'm puzzled by the frequency of news reports about 38 Studios moving its HQ.

Surely other game developers (including developers who've actually shipped games) have moved their offices from one state to another before, but I don't recall any of them getting proctological levels of attention over a detail like where they choose to do business.

The loan guarantee extended to 38 by a state government does make this story a little different, and newsworthy... but hasn't that story pretty much already been told? Why so many follow-ups?

Samuel Batista
profile image
Personally, I'm waiting to know when they're actually moving there. It would sure be nice to be 3-4 hours away from home (Connecticut), instead of 30 - 40.

Joseph Gonzalez
profile image
I canít blame 38 Studios for making the move, itís just good business sense. The amount offered in the loan guarantee seems like a raw deal for RI tax payers though. Betting tax dollars on any game company can be risky but especially one thatís competing in the MMO market. When youíve got a handful of Titans eating up market share as they are, it just seems really risky to back a competitor with money that might have been better used in developing a larger number of smaller game development business.

Here in Utah, the state provided a tax break to lure a Disney Interactive studio here and the results have been fantastic. Dealing with a massive company like Disney is far less risky then betting tax dollars on a company thatís as deep in the MMO space as 38 is. I really hope it works out for everyone involved, because if it fails, it may be the ammunition needed by opponents to stop similar initiatives in other states.